3ds Max Keyboard Shortcuts : Complete Guide

3DS Max is one of the most powerful 3d software in the market. Using 3ds Max Keyboard Shortcuts can make the workflow in this software very fast. Used in games and architecture a lot, this makes the life of 3d artist very much easy due to it what facilities it offers and helps them create awesome 3d renders as output.

3ds Max Keyboard Shortcuts
3ds Max Shortcuts

3ds Max software is often called as 3d max or 3D Studio is one of the most efficient software ever developed by the expert product experts team of  Autodesk to cater to the needs of 3d in this world. Biped is also used as an animation platform for gaming industries which can be used to call pre-built animation libraries and perform animation related task without adding rigging to the characters. Below is a small table of contents on Hotkeys for Autodesk 3ds max.

Also read: Maya Hotkeys Guide

3ds Max Keyboard Shortcuts

3ds Max Shortcut Keys
Image Source – Autodesk

General Max Hotkeys

Command                                            Hotkey
Adaptive degradation toggle                  O
Clone                                                  Ctrl + V
Environment dialog toggle                     8
Exit                                                     Esc
Expert mode toggle                              Ctrl + X
Fetch                                                  Alt + Ctrl + F
Help                                                   F1
Lock user interface toggle                    Alt + 0
Material editor toggle                           M
MAXScript Listener                               F11
New scene                                          Ctrl + N
Open file                                             Ctrl + O
Quick render                                       Shift + Q
Render last                                          F9
Render scene dialog toggle                   F10
Redo scene operation                           Ctrl + Y
Render to texture dialog toggle             0
Redo viewport operation                      Shift + Y
Save file                                             Ctrl + S
Selection lock toggle ̺̺                          Spacebar
Search all actions                                X
Spacing tool                                       Shift + I
Transform type-in dialog toggle            F12
Undo scene operation                         Ctrl + Z
Undo viewport operation                     Shift + Z
Restrict Plane Cycle                              F8
Hide Lights Toggle                               Shift + L
Hide Grids Toggle                                  G

Selection Hotkeys

Command                                                Hotkey
Align                                                       Alt+ A
Cycle selection method                             Alt+ F
Hold                                                        Alt + Ctrl + H
Normal align                                            Alt + N
Quick align                                              Shift + N
Select                                                      N
Select all                                                 Ctrl + A
Select ancestor                                        PgUp
Select and move                                       W
Select and rotate                                       E
Select and scale                                         R
Select by name                                          H
Select child                                               PgDn
Select children                                          Ctrl + PgDn
Select invert                                             Ctrl + I
Select none                                              Spacebar
Selection lock toggle                                 Ctrl + D
Sub-object selection toggle                        Ctrl + B
Reset all limb keys                                     Alt + K

When it comes to the 3d industry, After Maya, Max is considered as one of the best tools for 3d rendering purposes and it is widely used in architecture and biped animation. it can integrate quite well with 3d plugins and can produce realistic output for production houses. The user interface of this software is quite easy along with keyboard shortcuts and everything these tools offers can be checked in form of the table of contents at their official website as well. Also if you purchase this kind of software gives you access to their excellent support staff. 

Show/ Hide Hotkeys

Command                                                      Hotkey
Geometry toggle                                            Shift+ G
Grids toggle                                                    G
Helpers toggle                                                Shift + H
Particle systems toggle                                    Shift+ P
Snaps toggle                                                   Shift + S
Space warps toggle                                          Shift + W

“To be successful in this field, you need to become a problem solver with good observation skills and a desire to create things. You never stop learning in this field. You face new challenges with every new project, many of which require innovative solutions that you must discover on your own.” ― William Vaughan, Digital Modeling.

Snap Hotkeys

Command                                                        Hotkey
Angle snap toggle                                              A
Cycle active snap type                                       Alt+ S
Cycle snap hit                                                   Alt+ Shift + S
Percentage snap toggle                                      Ctrl+ Shift + P
Snap to frozen objects toggle                             Alt + F2
Snaps toggle                                                     S
Snaps use axis constraints toggle                        Alt + F3
Snaps use axis constraints toggle                        Alt + D

Sub-Level Hotkeys

The following list below provides keyboard shortcuts for sub-level hotkeys.
Command                                                          Hotkey
Border level                                                        3
Edge level                                                           2
Element level                                                       5
Object level                                                          6
Polygon level                                                        4
Vertex level                                                          1

Time Hotkeys

The following list below provides shortcut for time hotkeys.
Command                                                        Hotkey
Autokey mode toggle                                        N
Backup time one unit                                         ‘
Forward time one unit                                        .
Go to end frame                                               End
Go to start frame                                              Home
Set keys                                                            K

Viewport Hotkeys

The following list below provides keyboard shortcuts for general viewport commands.
Command                                                  Hotkey
Arc rotate view mode                                  Ctrl + R
Create camera from view                             Ctrl + C
Default lighting toggle                                 Ctrl + L
Display as see-through toggle                      Alt + X
Maximize viewport toggle                             Alt + W
Place highlight                                            Ctrl + H
Spot/Directional-light view                           Shift + 4

To get the most out of the software system, it takes a skilled designer who has the knowledge, training, and experience to render all types of 3D objects within the program.

Viewport Background Hotkeys

The following list below provides shortcuts for viewport commands related to the background.
Command                                                 Hotkey
Background lock toggle                              Alt + Ctrl + B
Update background image                          Alt + Ctrl + ShiftB
Viewport background                                 Alt + B

Viewport Display Hotkeys

Command                                                  Hotkey
Disable viewport                                         D
Display viewport statistics toggle                  7
Pan view                                                    Ctrl + P
Pan viewport                                              I
Shade selected faces toggle                         F2
Show safe frame toggle                              Shift + F
Show selection bracket toggle                     J
Transform gizmo size down                         –
Transform gizmo size up                             +
Wireframe/smooth + highlight toggle           F3
View edged faces toggle                              F4

Viewport Zoom Hotkeys

Command                                                 Hotkey
Zoom extents                                            Alt+ Ctrl + Z
Zoom extents all                                        Ctrl+ Shift + Z
Zoom extents all selected                            Z
Zoom in 2x                                                Alt+ Ctrl + Shift + Z
Zoom mode                                               Alt + Z
Zoom out 2x                                              Alt + Shift + Z
Zoom region mode                                     Ctrl + W
Zoom viewport in                                       Ctrl + +
Zoom viewport out                                     Ctrl + –

The key to becoming a master well rounded 3d artist is observing surroundings. This is key to success in 3d industry whether you are a concept artist, 3d sculpture, 3d modeler, texturing artist, lighting artist or animator. 

View Hotkeys

The following list below provides shortcuts for view commands.
Command                                                Hotkey
Bottom view                                             B
Camera view                                             C
Front view                                                 F
Isometric user view                                   U
Left view                                                   L
Perspective user view                                 P
Top view                                                   T

Virtual Viewport Hotkeys

The following list below provides hotkeys for virtual viewport (num-block) commands.
Command                                                  Hotkey
Pan down                                                   2
Pan left                                                      4
Pan right                                                    8
Pan up                                                       6
Virtual viewport toggle                                 /
Virtual viewport zoom in                              +
Virtual viewport zoom out                             –

3D Studio Max (3dsmax) is a 3D modeling, animation, and rendering tool. It is owned by Autodesk, an United States (San Rafael, California) based company. A free trial version can be downloaded from the Autodesk site.

Final Thoughts

So, This was the article over 3DsMax Hotkeys, we hope you enjoyed it. If you want a complete cheat sheet on it for reference. Click 3Ds Max (Source Autodesk) to download it. Learning 3d max interface can take time, as there are lots of features inside its interface. So keep practicing is the key to it. Also, the final results will be very much amazing. I wish you the very best of luck for mastering the 3Ds Max interface using our awesome guide. Also, you can say thanks to their support staff for excellent 3d youtube videos and content articles on their official site.

Please go through our other articles to enhance your knowledge in 3d and animation industry. Also, you can follow other 3d forum posts on the internet and learn from other CG industry experts.

I am a former Animator and Graphic Designer who has worked on many International and Domestic projects and Tv series and E-learning projects. I created Animation Alerts so that people who are struggling to learn animation can learn this craft and grow together.